Popular Science Competition Attracts Hundreds of Visitors to Campus

More than 750 students from 35 local middle schools and high schools competed in the Inland Empire Regional Science Olympiad

Joseph Childers and students

Joseph Childers, the dean of the Graduate Division, has fun with some of the competitors at the Inland Empire Regional Science Olympiad. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

Hundreds of local middle school and high school students came to the University of California, Riverside campus on Saturday, March 3, to take part in the Inland Empire Regional Science Olympiad.  The regional competition had teams of enthusiastic students compete in various categories that tested their knowledge in science facts, applications and concepts.

The projects, which included groundwater system models, small helicopters that could fly, and mousetrap vehicles, covered a variety of disciplines in science and engineering.  They took place in classrooms or hallways in six buildings on campus, with some projects being held outdoors.   Family members and friends cheered the participating teams, encouraging them to perform their best.

Students work on a science project

Two students prepare their helicopter for a flight. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

The UC Riverside Graduate Division hosted the event.  Joseph Childers, the dean of the Graduate Division, worked with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) at UCR to bring the popular hands-on competition to UCR.

“We are very pleased with the tremendously positive response the Regional Science Olympiad students had to holding their competition at UCR,” Childers said.  “The extra effort on the part of the Bourns College of Engineering and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences made the day a great experience for all.   The Regional Science Olympiad is a wonderful way for our campus to connect to high school and junior high science and math students from around the area, and to help even more of our community to understand how committed the campus and its faculty are to student success at every level.”

Tower project

A student watches as the strength of the tower he built is tested. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

The student projects were judged by UCR faculty and local science teachers, with medals and trophies presented to the winning teams at the end of the day.  Great Oak of Temecula won the high school competition, followed by Etiwanda in Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, Temecula Valley, and Rancho Cucamonga high schools. Matthew Gage Middle School in Riverside won the middle school competition, followed by Van Avery in Temecula, Margarita in Temecula and Miller in Riverside.

“More than anything, the event was about the high school and middle school students, parents, coaches, judges, and teachers,” said Prashanthi Vandrangi, a founding member of the SACNAS chapter and an organizer of the event.  “It was amazing to see 1400 smiles and cheerful faces. Many high school students saw UCR as their next destination.”

This year was the first time the Inland Empire Regional Science Olympiad was held at UCR.

“We hope to hold this event every year in years to come,” Childers said.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
E-mail: iqbal@ucr.edu
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

Joseph Childers
Tel: (951) 827-4302
E-mail: graddean@ucr.edu

Prashanthi Vandrangi
Tel: (951) 827-3386
E-mail: gradprep@ucr.edu

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